Sunday, April 3, 2011
The blond man had taken his jacket off, draped it over a chair in the corner of the dim room, and was rolling up one of the sleeves on his blue button-up shirt. Dave sat nervously on a stool in the center of the room, under the room's only light; a bare bulb hanging spider-like from a frayed cord. Tearing his gaze away from the blond guy, Dave glanced anxiously back over his shoulder, at the big bald man by the door, arms crossed, brow furrowed.
"That makes two of us," Dave said, turning back, forcing a smirk he didn't feel. The smirk dissolved as he watched the blond man's face harden.
"Now. There will be questions. Followed immediately by answers." The blond man finished cuffing his sleeves, and stepped forward in front of Dave. "Simple, straight-forward answers. Or there will be problems." He suddenly kicked the stool over, sending Dave toppling to the floor. With his hands tied behind him, Dave could not prevent taking the fall on his face.
"Get up," the bald guard grabbed Dave, set the stool upright, and plopped Dave onto it again.
Dave caught his breath, sat up as straight as he could manage, and asked, "OK, fine. What do you want to know?"
The blond man pulled something out of his back pocket. It was a picture, Dave saw. He held it up so Dave could get a good look.
"Well, for starters, in your latest blog post, you posted this."
Dave gulped, and began to sweat. "Y-yes. I did."
"WHAT IS IT!?" the blond man screamed into Dave's face.
"I-i-it's a Spoctapus," Dave managed to squeak out.
"A spoctapus, is it?" Blondie glanced up at his bald cohort and nodded.
There was a sharp pain to the skin on the back of Dave's neck, accompanied by a loud snap. Dave squealed like a schoolgirl. Baldy walked around, holding up a rubber band for Dave to see, chuckling. It was stretched between his thumb and forefinger. He plucked at it again, threateningly.
Blondie grabbed Dave's face by the chin, moving it front and center again, and screamed into it. "A spoctapus is NOT FUNNY!" He let go of Dave's face and turned away, pacing. "Your blog used to be amusing. It was entertaining! You used to have many daily visitors. The comments flowed like wine. All was good." He spun around and pointed the picture at Dave again. "But now it's come to this! THIS!" He tore the picture up in quarters and threw it to the floor with disgust. "No wonder your blog is a ghost town."
Dave looked at the floor, fighting the urge to sob, his neck still stinging from the rubber band. Before he could speak, Blondie paced forward again.
"And I suppose you thought THIS was amusing, too, eh, funny guy!?" He held another picture up for Dave to see.
"What is that!?" Blondie screamed, spittle hitting Dave in the face.
"It's a pie Venn diagram..."
"What is it doing on YOUR BLOG!" Blondie flicked Dave on the forehead. "Explain yourself!"
"It... it's just a b-bit of culinary m-math humor." Dave said, trembling.
"Culinary math humor!? Are you out of your MIND!?" Blondie strode around behind Dave, grabbed the back of Dave's underpants and yanked up hard. Dave cried out again. Blondie reappeared in front of him. "You think anyone else finds your culinary math humor funny?!"
"And what about this! How do you explain this video you posted!?"
Blondie nodded to Baldy, who grabbed Dave's head from behind, immobilizing him. Blondie produced a pair of tweezers from some hidden pocket, carefully reached into Dave's nose, grabbed a single nosehair while Dave suppressed a scream. "I better like your answer!" Blondie shouted as he yanked out the nosehair.
"Stop! Pleeease!" Dave pled, trying to rub his nose on his shoulder to allay the sting. "I just liked the video and wanted to share it! I thought it was clever!"
"Oh, you thought it was clever, did you? CLEVER!?" Blondie held a knuckle up for Dave to see, then drove it with some force into Dave's thigh, giving him a dead leg. Dave wept and would have crumbled to the floor, but Baldy held him in place. "You really think 'clever' is going to win you any new fans? Or win back any of the former fans that have abandoned you? Hmm?!"
"No... no, it won't," Dave sobbed.
"Look at me!" Blondie yelled. Dave looked up through his tears. "You know what you need to do." There was a pause as Dave nodded. "SAY IT!" Blondie bellowed.
"I... I need to... I..."
"You need to stop posting garbage, like this!" Blondie whipped out another picture, flashing it at Dave.
"Are you kidding me! A 'happy fridge'!" Baldy locked Dave's head in place again, as Blondie took the picture and gave Dave a papercut with it, right where Dave's earlobe met the side of his head.
"A HAPPY FRIDGE!" Blondie was beside himself, eyes bulging, veins popping out on his forehead. "Here's what you need to do. For starters, I NEVER want to see another happy appliance of ANY KIND on your blog AGAIN! Do you understand me!"
Dave nodded pathetically, tears streaming down his face.
"And you had the unmitigated NERVE to post this lump of video absurdity in your latest post as well?"
"And on top of it all, it was a re-post! You've used that same sorry video clip before! That is INEXCUSABLE!" Blondie pulled a little glass jar out of another pocket. Inside the glass jar was a slug. Dave shuddered, and begged with his eyes. "Do I need to put this slug on your bare arm? DO I!?!?!"
Dave wept and vigorously shook his head in the negative, too scared to speak.
"Then listen, and listen GOOD!" Blondie continued. "No more fart videos. No more Tsunami videos. No more reports on what you're reading lately -- how BORING is that! Nobody cares about the books you're reading, or the games you're playing, or your theological conundrums and musings! I tell ya, the only good thing your blog does anymore is put people to sleep! Great! You've cured insomnia!"
He glanced up at Baldy. "Stand him up."
Baldy grabbed Dave, kicked the stool away and stood Dave on his feet in front of Blondie. Dave fought to retain control of his bladder.
"You have officially run out of chances. This is your only remaining shot. You will find fun, funny and interesting things to post on your blog from here on out. No more tired, insipid, rehashed offal. There's enough of that online without you adding your heaping spoonfuls. And you will visit other random blogs, and leave comments and follow people. Then they will feel obligated to check your blog out in return, and perhaps you will find some readers again."
Blondy smoothed the front of Dave's shirt, and patted his shoulder, smiling at him with surprisingly authentic-looking reassurance. Dave almost started to relax a bit. "Your next lame blog update will be your last." Blondie licked his fingertip and stuck it in Dave's ear. Dave got a serious case of the willies.
"Be good. We're watching."
Blondie and Baldy left.